DIY Milk Jug Scooter and Bike Lanterns!

Make some DIY milk jug lanterns for attaching to the front of scooters and bikes, for fun adventures in the dark! So much fun on dark winter afternoons and a prompt to get outside and exercise even when it seems so miserable (hello UK weather, I’m talking to you!)
Our girls adore their scooters and are always whizzing on them when we go out for a walk! With these dark afternoons starting so early and making the day seem so short, I thought it would be fun to add an exciting new element to the front of the scooters for some night time riding! 

Materials Needed:
empty milk jugs, washed and dried
colouring pens
battery operated LED lights OR glow sticks
First of all I cut a small section out of each handle so that it could hook over the handlebar of the scooter. I tried these on their balance bike handles and they fit over those too, so I am sure you could adapt the cutting in any way you need to fit whichever style handlebars you may have.

Then I simply offered the girls lots of ordinary felt tip marker pens to draw and decorate their lanterns with. It would be better to use permanent pens like Sharpie markers, so that the colours can’t rub off, but I didn’t have any (shock horror!) These pens stayed on the plastic fine and didn’t rub off if left to dry before being touched.

Then I cut a small hole at the back (see arrow in picture) and pushed in a small push button LED light into each jug. I had intended to use glowsticks in these lanterns and I’ve no doubt it would work very well, but on activating them one split and the liquid shot into my eye! Ouch. Suffice to say, I decided to bin the lot and stay on the safer side with the LED lights. These battery operated lights were so bright and powerful and made the colourful jugs glow beautifully. The girls were thrilled!

Next step was to get out and road test them in the dark! They whoosed up and down the pavements around our neighbourhood and lots of passers by turned to take a closer look. Cakie said “we are just like the cars with our headlamps on now!” 

Using the lights has actually worked out as a better solution as we can keep the lanterns for longer and use the scooters every day for a pre-dinner adventure each night!

What they are learning as they play:
creativity designing and crewing in 3D, using a range of materials, model making
science designing and making a project from start to end, testing, experimenting, lights and shadows, simple technology, on and off switches
language learning new vocabulary e.g. “modify” and “design”

Cakie: 4.4
Pop: 2.9
Bean: 10 mos

Have you ever made a lantern or nightlight? What materials did you use?

You can also use milk jugs to make:

Baby Dropping and Posting Game
Tube, tape and beans Discovery Box
Easy Catching Game

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  1. says

    It works? I’ve seen the milk-jug concept of light diffusion on Pinterest but didn’t realise that it would actually work. And to use it on a scooter is pure unbridled genius. I hope Micro-Scooters signs your idea up quickly!!